Should I take more "diagnostics?"

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WaltGrace83
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Should I take more "diagnostics?"

Postby WaltGrace83 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:33 am

I am currently enrolled in a Manhattan class and after only 4 weeks of class, the guide already suggests to take a second "diagnostic" exam. I am not writing in October and am anticipating writing only when I am PTing in the mid-high 170s (my initial "diagnostic" I took two years ago in my freshman year of college was a 151). With this in mind, I really don't want to waste valuable test materials when we haven't even covered 3/4 of the possible material on the LSAT. That is why I didn't take a diagnostic at the beginning of the course and just used the only actual LSAT I have ever taken - a 151. Is this a smart move? Should I even take a diagnostic at all in the course until after it's over? Thanks.

Reframe
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Re: Should I take more "diagnostics?"

Postby Reframe » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:34 am

Taking "diagnostics" (I assume that's what you mean by full-length PTs?) is, first of all, the best and most essential method of training, and, second of all, tells you what you really need to work on elsewhere in the test.

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WaltGrace83
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Re: Should I take more "diagnostics?"

Postby WaltGrace83 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:43 pm

Reframe wrote:Taking "diagnostics" (I assume that's what you mean by full-length PTs?) is, first of all, the best and most essential method of training, and, second of all, tells you what you really need to work on elsewhere in the test.


I totally get that but my question is more so from the perspective that I haven't even learned all of the LSAT material yet! Sure, I may realize that I didn't understand 3D games or something as much as I thought but, on the other hand, I am just confused why I should be testing stuff I haven't learned yet (we have only done 3 types of games, just started RC, etc.)

Reframe
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Re: Should I take more "diagnostics?"

Postby Reframe » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:17 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:
Reframe wrote:Taking "diagnostics" (I assume that's what you mean by full-length PTs?) is, first of all, the best and most essential method of training, and, second of all, tells you what you really need to work on elsewhere in the test.


I totally get that but my question is more so from the perspective that I haven't even learned all of the LSAT material yet! Sure, I may realize that I didn't understand 3D games or something as much as I thought but, on the other hand, I am just confused why I should be testing stuff I haven't learned yet (we have only done 3 types of games, just started RC, etc.)


This is not the right way to approach the test. Some techniques - hopefully the ones you're learning in your course! - will work for you; others won't. Some parts you may intuitively know how to tackle. Some parts you may need to work on applying even concepts from class that you understand in the abstract. It's actually very important to have a perspective on the test that is independent from the course you're taking, and to have a grasp on what your natural abilities provide.

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patfeeney
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Re: Should I take more "diagnostics?"

Postby patfeeney » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:24 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:I am currently enrolled in a Manhattan class and after only 4 weeks of class, the guide already suggests to take a second "diagnostic" exam. I am not writing in October and am anticipating writing only when I am PTing in the mid-high 170s (my initial "diagnostic" I took two years ago in my freshman year of college was a 151). With this in mind, I really don't want to waste valuable test materials when we haven't even covered 3/4 of the possible material on the LSAT. That is why I didn't take a diagnostic at the beginning of the course and just used the only actual LSAT I have ever taken - a 151. Is this a smart move? Should I even take a diagnostic at all in the course until after it's over? Thanks.


Let me put it this way... in a few weeks, the 69th preptest will be available to purchase.

Three tests per year since 1990 that you can buy and use to your discretion. Few people, if anyone, can go through them all.

In fact, it would be wasteful to not take the diagnostic. There are so many preptests that, if you revisit one later, chances are you won't even remember a single question.

Daily_Double
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Re: Should I take more "diagnostics?"

Postby Daily_Double » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:29 pm

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Last edited by Daily_Double on Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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trojandave
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Re: Should I take more "diagnostics?"

Postby trojandave » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:34 pm

The class I took was not Manhattan, but that being said... When you sign up for a class, you should trust the teacher and go with what he says - otherwise what are you paying for?? And the teacher knows you haven't done everything yet... But the diagnostic will still be good practice for taking the test in test conditions, and you'll get to use the skills you've already learned in other parts of the class. You'll learn WAY more before it's all said and done so don't be shocked to see very little improvement since the course started. One month is very early and I didn't see nearly enough results for my liking at that point, but the regular practice is part of the learning process and this diagnostic isn't about the score, it's about the experience and getting to take the test from a further along place than you were a month ago. I'd say don't fight the class - you're in it for a reason and hopefully by trusting it and putting in all the work outside of the classroom (that's the big part - the homework) you'll see a big jump at the end.

The practice tests are huge in getting you comfortable with the test, building up stamina, and knowing exactly what to expect on test day. It's important to do those. And that you didn't do one at the start of the class may even be a mistake. Your understanding and thought process could have changed from two years ago. The diagnostics are mile markers that show you how far you've come and how far you still have left to go. They're the only way you can get an accurate indication of where you currently are in your prep. They're important and you should do them every few weeks at the early part of the class, and maybe 1 per week towards the end so you can lock in all the material. It'll keep you sharp and it's better than drilling (once you're at the end of the class though, prob not now) because it keeps questions randomized and you have to identify question types on the fly under a timed scenario. Lastly, your teacher should (I hope) have access to your diagnostics online. Right? So if so, it will help him to identify your weaknesses and problem areas when you can't, and that's valuable too. Anyway, just my thoughts. Good luck!




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